UPDATED 3/9/12 3:50 p.m.

Federal prosecutors are again asking a magistrate for a delay in what government officials have called the largest human trafficking case in U.S. history — only this time, they’ve asked for an extra sixth months instead of nine.

U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Richard L. Puglisi last month rejected the government’s request for a nine-month delay, saying the government had overestimated the time it needed to review documents and hard drives seized from the lead defendant.

Prosecutors allege that eight people associated with Global Horizons, a Los Angeles-based labor recruiting firm, conspired to keep between 600 and 900 Thai workers as indentured laborers on farms in Hawaii, Washington and other states.

Puglisi seemed just as skeptical of the prosecution’s Friday request for a shorter continuance.

“This is sort of the kitchen sink approach … you want everything,” he said.

He added: “It’s not the most complex case I’ve ever seen.”

The magistrate didn’t rule on the matter Friday, in part to give the defendants a chance to respond to the prosecutor’s motion. Prosecutors did not file the paperwork for their motion until late on Thursday.


Puglisi agreed to a continuance. The case is scheduled for trial on August 28, 2012.

By the Numbers

What came out in court Friday were more stats from the government about the vast scope of the case:

  • 226 — Number of boxes filled with papers seized from Global Horizons CEO Mordechai Orian’s Los Angeles offices in December.

  • 73 — Number of hard drives seized in the same raid.

  • 66 — Number of hard drives found to contain data on them, including emails, word documents, spreadsheets and encrypted files.

  • 20 — Number of terabytes of data on those hard drives — the equivalent of more than twice the entire printed collection of the Library of Congress, according to U.S. Attorney Florence Nakakuni.

  • 72 – Names of attorneys that the government must look for in all seized material in order to protect Orian’s attorney-client privilege.

  • 101 million — Number of files found on the hard drives.

  • 20 million — Number of files that could potentially be protected by Orian’s attorney-client privilege, based on a preliminary name search.

  • 25 years — Time it would take 10 agents to go through the documents.

  • 2 months — Estimated length of the government’s case in trial. By comparison, the government’s case in the Aloun Farms trial involving an alleged 44 Thai victims was estimated to run two weeks.

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